When it comes to apps, Roku holds the gold belt in the set top streaming circuit, which has helped it compete fiercely with titans like Apple, Google, and Amazon in the genre. But today Roku filled a major hole in its lineup, announcing it has added Google Play Movies & TV to its sprawling list of over 1700 choices.
Content providers don’t always play fair, which is what makes Roku such an intriguing underdog story. Google, which recently added the new Nexus Player to go with its uber-popular Chromecast device, is notorious for barring its competitors from its carriage of content, holding back a native Youtube app from Roku until April of 2014. And Google’s not the only one playing favorites.
Amazon, late to the game with the launch of its Fire TV set top box in April and follow-up Fire TV Stick, has also been stingy with its Amazon Instant Video App which is still unavailable on Google’s streaming devices, as well as the Apple TV. However, Roku, and its extremely accessible app development kit, has continuously found a way to bring the top content into its fold.
With the addition of Google Play’s catalog, Roku-ites (Rokuians?) will have access to a host of TVs and movies, as well as Google Play’s Info Cards system, which pops up actors’ names when a show or movie is paused. Users can also sign up for a season pass, which will auto-add the latest episodes of shows the day after air.
Google Play is now available in the U.S. and U.K. on all current Roku devices released from June 2011 on.